Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Royal family member was investigated as part of paedophile ring before cover-up, ex-cop says

The Independent:

A member of the Royal family was claimed to be part of a suspected paedophile ring under investigation by police in the late 1980s, a former police officer has said. The former Metropolitan Police officer says he was told by a detective sergeant that the investigation into the ring, which was also claimed to include an MP, was shut down for national security reasons. “I was in a car with two other vice squad officers. … The detective sergeant said he had just had a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP,” he told the Sunday Mirror newspaper. “He did not mention names, but he said the CPS had said it was not in the public’s interest because it ‘could destabilise national security’.” The police officer identified the two colleagues, the newspaper said.

Sir Allan Green, the Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the CPS at the time the conversation took place, said he was not aware of any child abuse investigations shut down for national security reasons. He however said he had been asked by a “senior person” if he had heard anything about a named MP being involved in child abuse. He said he had not. The MP he was asked about has since died, Mr Green said. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told the Independent: "If detailed, substantive allegations are made they will be taken seriously and looked into. However, we are not in a position to comment on speculative stories based on a chain of unnamed sources." The Metropolitan Police has pledged to investigate historical crimes by establishment figures “without fear of favour”.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he was pleased that allegations of cover-ups were coming to light. "We do think we are getting somewhere with these wider enquiries and we are seeing people coming forward. We have seen lots of coverage this week around allegations of cover-ups, and I think it's helpful that this is being spoken about and people are coming forward. "We will go where the evidence takes us, without fear or favour, I think that is what the public expect and that is what the investigators are doing and are keen to continue to do." The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating 14 related allegations of impropriety by officer stretching from the 1970s to 2005. The Home Secretary Theresa May said earlier month that child sexual abuse ran through British society like a “stick of Blackpool rock” and warned that the public did not fully “appreciate the true scale” of exploitation.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Crimewatch reporter killed after investigating elite pedophile ring

via The Daily Mail:

Murdered Crimewatch presenter Jill Dando tried to get BBC bosses to investigate an alleged paedophile ring in the corporation, it has today been claimed. A former friend and retired BBC worker has claimed that the television host was told that 'big name stars' and BBC staff were involved in abuse. But when she tried to get her superiors to investigate, and handed a file to senior management, no action was taken, the source claims. The former staff member, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Daily Star Sunday that she raised the claims with management in the mid 1990s.

The source said that the names were 'surprisingly big'. She said: 'I think she was quite shocked when told about images of children and that information on how to join this horrible paedophile ring was freely available.' They added that Ms Dando had also been told that female work colleagues told her they had been groped or assaulted, and that nothing had been done. 'She compiled a file of complaints but she was not really an investigative journalist, just a presenter. 'She passed the information to someone else and they gave it back. No one wanted to know.'

The BBC said it had not seen anything to substantiate the claims. Miss Dando, 37, was gunned down outside her home in Fulham, west London, on April 26, 1999, moments after stepping out of her car. Dando was killed with a single muffled bullet to the skull and neighbours found her in a pool of blood on her doorstep in a crime that shocked Britain. Part-time stuntman Barry George was jailed for the killing in 2001, but his conviction was overturned in August 2008 following the emergence of fresh evidence. Her killer has never been found.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Wealthy UK pedophile cult includes alleged assassins

via The Daily Mail:

Bracketed statements are added commentary.]

The leader of a Satanic sex cult is facing a lengthy jail sentence after being found guilty of multiple counts of rape and child abuse. Colin Batley, 48, exercised absolute control over his sect in a seaside cul-de-sac – abusing and exploiting helpless children as ‘sex toys’ for more than a decade. He was found guilty yesterday of 35 sex offences against children and young adults. Yet social services were alerted to Batley’s child abuse in 2002 – and took no action. As a consequence, the former Tesco security guard was allowed to continue ‘preying on the young and vulnerable’ for a further eight years – with the full support of wife Elaine. At their semi in Kidwelly, South Wales, he would dress in hooded robes, chant before an altar and then orchestrate or participate in group sex with his female followers, including Jacqueline Marling and Shelly Millar. One helpless girl was ‘initiated’ when she was just 11 and threatened with death by ‘cult assassins’ if she did not comply. At least two of his young victims gave birth as a result of the ‘systematic and prolonged abuse’. Yesterday at Swansea Crown Court, Marling, 42, and Elaine Batley, 47, were found guilty of five counts including sexual activity and indecency towards children.

Millar, 35, was found guilty of two similar charges. Another woman, Sandra Iveson, was found not guilty of gross indecency. Those found guilty will be sentenced tomorrow and face ‘substantial’ jail terms. Colin Batley’s home was a typical semi in a typical cul-de-sac. But to the stream of visitors who trooped through the front door – especially on Sunday nights – it was the Temple. In the lounge, a white cloth would be draped over a table to form an altar with candles and burning incense; nearby were tanks full of snakes and Satanic symbols. Those present would put on hooded robes and wear upside-down crucifixes. There would be chanting, which would always end in group sex. Children, boys and girls as young as 11, were also ‘initiated’ – repeatedly sexually abused in other words – during ‘Black Masses’ at Batley’s home. There were at least five victims that we know of, but police believe there could have been many more. Yet these vile activities did not disturb the neighbours. Why? Because they were involved too. They lived in houses next to or opposite each other on the outskirts of Kidwelly (population 3,000) near Carmarthen. For more than a decade Clos Yr Onnen, Welsh for Ash Tree Close, was possibly the most depraved street in Britain. The proof was there, in black and white, on the charge sheet at Swansea Crown Court where Batley, his bisexual wife Elaine and their accomplices stood trial for a sickening catalogue of crimes.

All of them perpetrated by culprits living in the same road; perhaps the single most shocking fact of all.
This disturbing story begins not in Wales, however, but more than 200 miles away in East London. Batley, from Shoreditch, had a string of jobs including work as a Tesco security guard and on a fruit-and-vegetable stall. He also bred rottweiler dogs and Siamese cats. His outwardly mundane existence, we now know, masked a sinister private life. He and his wife had been dabbling with the occult ever since they were married 30 years ago and were obsessed with Aleister Crowley, the most notorious Satanist of the 20th century, the self-styled ‘Great Beast’. One of Crowley’s publications, the Book of the Law, includes the passage: ‘Let all chaste women be despised. Sex with anyone is not just permissible but to be encouraged.’ And this: ‘Some of the most passionate and permanent attachments have begun with rape. Rome was founded thereon.’ Apart from anything else, the Book of the Law provided justification for the couple’s own ‘open marriage’. Batley had sent a photo of his wife to the Readers’ Wives section of a pornographic magazine and this had led to them meeting ‘others for group activities’, the jury was told.

They included former dental nurse Jacqueline Marling and prostitute Shelly Millar, who both joined Batley’s occult ‘circle’. They were given matching tattoos of the Eye of Horus, the Egyptian falcon god depicted pecking out the eyes of Christ in Crowley’s works, and addressed Batley as ‘My lord’ (police found him listed under this name on Millar’s mobile phone). Such was Batley’s control over his wretched ‘coven’ that they had to pay him 25 per cent of their income. Every time Millar entertained a client, she would send Batley a text message to tell him how much she had been paid. She had sex with more than 3,000 clients over a two-year period, making about £2,000 a month, a quarter of which went to him. It explained how Batley, officially unemployed, could afford a £45,000 caravan and frequent holidays abroad.

Batley would later claim that he moved to Wales for health reasons – to escape the smog. A claim rather undermined by the fact that his coven also relocated to the principality. Police believe there was another reason for the exodus; they suspect that other members of the cult – who have not been identified – were based in Wales. The first East Londoner to arrive in Kidwelly was twice-married mother of four Sandra Iveson in 1995. The following year, the Batleys moved in. Two years later, Marling became their next-door neighbour and Millar, 35, an unmarried mother of two who was brought up a Catholic, completed the set. Did other residents have any inkling of the kind of people that were now living among them? Well, with hindsight, there were a few small clues. John Wheatland and his wife Marion, both in their seventies, couldn’t help but notice how Colin Batley was ‘over at Shelly’s all the time’. On another occasion, the Wheatlands encountered Millar and another woman kissing and touching each other in the supermarket. Yet they could not have imagined the extent of what was really going on behind the closed curtains of the so-called Temple. During occult gatherings it became the set of a horror movie.

Batley, in a hooded robe, would read out extracts from the Book of the Law, which had been typed out and laminated by his wife. Hanging above him on the wall was a gold ceremonial dagger and sitting menacingly nearby were his two rottweilers, Tutankhamun and Sekhet. One young victim told how Batley introduced her to the cult by raping her when she was 11, telling her that having sex with him was a ‘test’ and if she did not pass she would go to ‘the Abyss’. The victim, now in her twenties, told the court: ‘I did not want him to do what he was doing, but I did not have a choice because what Colin said happened. What Colin said went.’

The abuse continued for years. As a teenager she became pregnant by Batley, who prevented her from having an abortion saying that babies belonged to the cult and not to their mothers. Another victim, now in her thirties, said she was forced to have sex with Batley when she was 15. She was also ordered to perform sex acts on his wife and other men and women. ‘I was told I’d be killed if I didn’t become part of the cult,’ she said. ‘Colin Batley had a gun and brought it to meetings. I was so scared I just did what I was told. I was in the living room at his home and he told me there would be an initiation. I was called upstairs. Elaine was there. He would just snap his fingers and say, “Strip”.’

She said that on one occasion when she was 16, she was made to have sex with a boy of 15 – as Marling filmed them.

The girl was told she would be murdered by ‘cult assassins’
if she did not give in to Batley’s demands. Through a video link, she sobbed as she told how she was taken to other addresses by Batley where she had sex with other men. ‘I did it because I was told to by Colin.’ Another woman victim said she was recruited into the cult and became pregnant after becoming a ‘sexual plaything’ for the group. Batley ordered her not to abort her ‘occult child’. A male victim said that, as a teenager, he was tricked into having sex with Batley’s wife. The witness recalled how Batley promised to set him up with a girl and directed him to a dark bedroom. Once inside, he got into bed and then realised that the other person lying beside him was Elaine Batley. One of the charges against Shelly Millar was that she seduced a boy of 15. Millar claimed he was 16, and that she was teaching him how to have sex as he had a new girlfriend ‘he wanted to impress’. She had sex with him twice in Batley’s caravan in Tenby. Batley, it emerged during the trial, had been reported to Carmarthenshire Social Services in 2002 by a concerned relative. She said Batley had been abused by his own father and that ‘history was about to repeat itself’.

The warning went unheeded, allowing Batley and his cult to prey on youngsters week after week, month after month for another eight years. The Batleys had four children, one of whom, Damian, died of strangulation three years ago when a bizarre sex game went wrong. He was found hanging from his bedroom door at the family home and had been filming himself. Finally, last year, one of Batley’s victims went to the police. It was one of the girls he had impregnated as a teenager. She said she feared he might target her own child. Batley was tipped off about the police inquiry and, by the time he was arrested, had destroyed potential evidence. But officers found home-made films of two of his victims on his camcorder. [The circumstances surrounding the death of the Batleys' son seem highly questionable given that the family has already been accused of producing what very well might be commercial pornography]. Interviewed 11 times by detectives, he steadfastly maintained his innocence. The jury did not believe him. They saw him for what he was – ‘an evil and manipulative sexual predator’ who had used the cult and ‘black magic’ as a cover for his own perverted ends. Back in Kidwelly, there was relief at the verdicts. ‘I’m just glad they’ve all finally gone,’ said John Wheatland. He spoke for everyone in Ash Tree Close.

Sex cult was inspired by 'the Great Beast'

The cult’s inspiration, Aleister ‘the Great Beast’ Crowley, believed himself to be a prophet of a new age of personal liberty, controlled by the ancient Egyptian god Horus.

Friday, March 13, 2015

10 Secrets The Catholic Church Hopes You’ve Forgotten

via Listverse:

10 The Lies Of Mother Teresa

Although Mother Teresa was beatified as a saint by the Catholic Church in 2003, in reality she was far from the saint the Church would lead you to believe. In fact, Mother Teresa isn’t even her real name; she was born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Albania. The issues certainly don’t end with her pseudonym. Researchers today have called Mother Teresa an empty “PR ploy” by the Vatican to rehabilitate their tarnished image.

Mother Teresa’s claim to fame is helping poor around the world, but she did quite the opposite throughout her lifetime. Mother Teresa made niceties with right-wing Haitian Dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and accepted money from him which had been stolen from Haiti’s poor. Duvalier was known for stealing millions from Haiti’s poor so that he could maintain his own lavish lifestyle. He spent $2 million of Haiti’s money to pay for his extravagant wedding. Duvalier also profited from drug trafficking and selling the body parts of deceased Haitians.

Mother Teresa rubbed elbows with another thief by the name of Charles Keating. If that name rings a bell for you, it should; Keating is the banker best known for defrauding American taxpayers out of over $3 billion during the savings and loan crisis of the ’80s and ’90s. Keating donated $1.25 million to Mother Teresa and lent her his private jet so that the missionary could jet set around the world. Keating would later be convicted in state and federal courts of a litany of crimes including racketeering, fraud, and conspiracy. After Keating was convicted, Mother Teresa refused to return the stolen money and asked one of the courts to overturn his sentence.

What she did with the money remains in question. The care she gave to the sick and poor in her hospices was observed to be wholly unsanitary, medical care was wholly insufficient, and crucial pain management for the dying was cruelly inadequate. Her hospices were found to not even distinguish between terminally ill patients and those who could be cured. Consequently, patients with curable illness died from the poor, unsanitary treatment they received from Mother Teresa’s facilities.

Her motivation for setting these hospices may have been less compassion and more fundamentalism. Mother Teresa callously encouraged those who worked in her hospices to baptize dying patients, regardless of the patient’s religious beliefs or consent. Mother Teresa’s fundamentalism stretched beyond the subject of baptism. She claimed that abortion was “the greatest enemy of peace in the world,” and opposed contraception even in the cases of rape and incest.

Mother Teresa also defended a pedophilic priest named Donald McGuire, trying to get him leniency after he was convicted of raping children. She wanted him to be reinstated as a priest despite his heinous crimes.

The greatest irony of it all is that by the end of her life, Mother Teresa didn’t even believe in the fundamentalism she spouted or the religion she spent her life serving. After her death, letters Mother Teresa had written to the Vatican surfaced and revealed that she had stopped believing in the religion she plugged. Mother Teresa wrote: “What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”

9 Alliance With Radical Islamists

In 1994, 180 countries met to draft a proposal with the United Nations to address the coming crisis of overpopulation. The plan met an unexpected foe in the Catholic Church. In its opposition to the plan, the Catholic Church reached out to unlikely allies: radical Islamists.

The population plan drafted by representatives from 180 countries sought to tamper overpopulation by including measures to increase women’s rights and reproductive rights around the world. The Catholic Church felt the language went against their conservative views on abortion rights and sexual freedom. But the Catholic Church had a hard time finding allies around the world to join in their opposition to the measures, so they allied themselves with “radical and fundamentalist governments and groups in Islamic countries.”

The move received swift denunciation from Western countries around the world. Western diplomats worried that the Vatican was bolstering Islamic radicals with plans to overthrow governments around the Middle East and form their own radical Islamic state.

After Iran signed on with the Catholic Church, Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani hinted at a grander alliance between the Vatican and Iranian Islamist. Rafsanjani said that “Collaboration between religious governments in support of outlawing abortion is a fine beginning for the conception of collaboration in other fields.”

The Vatican also struck a similar alliance with Libya and other Islamic fundamentalist governments. As a result of the deal, the Vatican tried to help Libya quell its conflicts with Western nations. The Western nations sought to clamp down on the dictatorship after it sponsored the Lockerbie terrorist attack of 1988, which resulted in the deaths of 259 individuals.

8 Jozef Tiso

The Catholic Church is known to have allied itself with fascists in World War II, most notably with Mussolini by signing the Lateran Treaty. However, one lesser-known fascist dictator of the time was actually a practicing Catholic priest.

Before Jozef Tiso got into the dictator game, he cut his teeth in a prestigious seminary in Vienna and became an ordained Catholic priest. Father Tiso then worked as an assistant priest before becoming the Spiritual director of one of Slovakia’s largest seminaries. Soon, Tiso began to moonlight in politics. He joined Slovakia’s fascist party and served as an editor of a Slovakian newspaper in which he published a series of extremely anti-Semitic articles in the run-up to the Holocaust.

It wasn’t long before Tiso became one of the leaders of the fascist Slovak People’s Party. Father Tiso and his confidants shifted the party to the hard right in line with the nearby Nazi party, embracing the clerical nationalism and fascism inspired by Tiso’s own brand of right-wing Catholicism.

Father Tiso was elected into Slovakia’s parliament in 1925, but he would ascend to the role of dictator when Nazi Germany occupied Sudetenland in 1938. Tiso swiftly established a dictatorship and made an alliance with the Nazi party. Slovakia was turned into the Slovak Republic, a puppet state of Nazi Germany.

During this time, 16 of 63 members of Slovakia’s parliament were priests. Slovakia’s fascist parliament quickly began passing anti-Jewish legislation. Slovakia then became the first country to begin deporting its Jewish residents to concentration camps run by Nazi Germany, effectively setting the Holocaust into motion.

According to a December 1940 census, there were 88,951 Jews in Slovakia at the time. First, Tiso’s Slovakia sent 20,000 Jews to the Nazis to be used in work camps before they were killed. By June 1924, around 52,000 Jews were deported from Slovakia—almost 60 percent of Slovakia’s Jewish population. Most were sent to Auschwitz, where they were murdered by the Nazis.

Hitler witnessed one of Tiso’s speeches in 1942 in which Tiso touted his Jewish deportation scheme. After the speech, Hitler remarked, “It is interesting how this little Catholic priest Tiso is sending us the Jews!”

Tiso was removed from power in 1944 during the Slovak National Uprising. Just before being ousted, the Vatican radio told its listeners that Father Tiso retired in his role as a monsignor for the Vatican, “owing to his political activities.” After Slovakia was liberated from Nazi control by the Soviet Union the next year, Father Tiso was captured by American troops in June 1945. He was hanged for treason in 1947.

Throughout the entirety of his political career, he remained a practicing Catholic priest.

Tiso isn’t the only dictator to start off as an aspiring priest in seminary. USSR dictator Joseph Stalin also studied to become a priest at Russia’s leading Orthodox seminary, the Tiflis Spiritual Seminary.

7 Excommunication Policies

n 2009, the Catholic Church in Brazil came under fire for punishing an underaged girl who was raped and subsequently had an abortion. The Church couldn’t excommunicate the girl herself because minors cannot be excommunicated, but the Church did excommunicate her mother. The Church also excommunicated the doctors who performed the emergency abortion. However, they did not excommunicate the girl’s rapist.

In fact, the Catholic Church opposes abortion so vehemently that not only is it worthy of excommunication; the Church believes it’s worthy of death in some cases. The Catholic Church has previously established that it would rather have a woman die than get a life-saving abortion.

The scandal highlighted an even larger problem for the Catholic Church that stems from its core doctrine. First and foremost, it doesn’t consider rape a crime worthy of excommunication, even though having an abortion after a rape an act is worthy of excommunication. The Vatican’s bizarre standards on excommunication also broach its problem with pedophilic priests. The Catholic Church doesn’t consider pedophilia and child abuse crimes worthy of excommunication in and of themselves.

In fact, the Catholic Church didn’t even excommunicate the Nazis for the crimes against humanity they committed, despite the fact that many Nazi leaders were practicing Catholics. There is only one Nazi to be excommunicated by the Catholic Church, and that was Joseph Goebbels. The Vatican didn’t excommunicate him for starting World War II or the Holocaust; instead, the Church excommunicated Goebbels because he married a divorced Protestant.

Until recently, no pedophilic priest who had abused children had been excommunicated by the Catholic Church. Late last year, Pope Francis broke Church precedent and issued the first excommunication of a pedophilic priest who had sexually abused children. The priest had been convicted of the abuse and sentenced to 14 years in prison three years earlier.

But if you think Pope Francis has totally overhauled the Church’s excommunication practices, think again. Pope Francis also excommunicated a priest for advocating that women should be able to be priests and for believing that gay marriage is perfectly reasonable.

6 Money Laundering And Tax Evasion

shady money

The Vatican Bank is notoriously poor, if not corrupt in managing its finances. While congregations in Catholic churches around the world may think the money they pour into collection plates is going to charity or priests, the truth is that the money goes to far more lurid activities.

In 2013, Vatican Bank’s director, deputy director, and senior accountant were all charged with using their positions to engage in a massive money laundering scheme. The Vatican Bank had been under investigation for money laundering for years.

Italian police claimed the Vatican Bank had been operating as a “trust company” that harbored secret monies of the corrupt politicians and companies, along with the Mafia. The bank also used its finances to bribe political parties.

The Vatican bank is so intertwined with the Mafia, that after Pope Francis sought to tamper corruption in the bank months ago, Italian prosecutors believed he was in danger of being assassinated by the Mafia.

The Vatican’s ties with the Mafia are so strong that it accepted one billion lire to bury a notorious Italian crime boss in its basilica next to former popes.

5 Age Of Consent

twelve year olds

The Catholic Church has famously been plagued by cases of widespread child abuse carried out by its priests. Oddly enough, the child abuse wasn’t as illegal in Vatican City as it was in the rest of the world. That’s because the age of consent in the Vatican was only 12 years old. In fact, the age of consent in the Vatican was only 12 until July 2013, when Pope Francis raised the age of consent up to 18 in the wake of the Church’s pedophilia and prostitution scandals.

Until the shockingly recent change, the Vatican had the lowest age of consent in the world. The 12-year-old age of consent tied the Vatican with the Philippines, Mexico, Angola, and Zimbabwe, all of which have a 12-year-old age of consent to this day.

This frighteningly low age of consent may explain why the Catholic Church often doesn’t consider the child abuse carried out by its priests’ pedophilia. High-level church officials like the Vatican’s secretary of state have claimed that homosexuality is to blame for its priests’ child abuse, not pedophilia, calling homosexuality a “pathology.”

4 Fueling The Illegal Ivory Trade

ivory crucifix

The ivory trade is a horrific practice. The often illegal trade has caused numerous species to become endangered, decimating the elephant population in Africa. Elephants, one of the most intelligent species on the planet, are senselessly and inhumanely killed and their ivory tusks are ripped off. The rest of the elephant’s mauled body is discarded as waste. Perhaps the primary reason the illegal practice exists is because of organized religion.

In order to stop the violence, 180 countries got together and formed the CITES treaty, or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The treaty’s purpose is to keep endangered species from going extinct by stopping practices that have obliterated their populations, like the ivory trade or the shark fin trade. There was one notable exception among the signatories: the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church opposed the attempt to protect endangered species because the Catholic Church buys lots of ivory. It does so not out of necessity, but out of tradition. Many of the decorative crucifixes in Catholic Churches are made out of ivory, which can only be made by slaughtering an elephant.

3 Questionable Charity Policies

lgbt rights

The Catholic Church bolsters its image by labeling itself as a charitable organization. Its congregations are led to believe their donations to the Church fuel charitable causes around the world. However, the Catholic Church’s objective for this charity is often advertising rather than altruism.

Recently, the Catholic Church claimed it would stop all of its charity work in Washington, D.C. if the city passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage. Although they didn’t actually stop working in Washington, D.C. when gay marriage was legalized, the Washington Catholic Charities did cease to provide benefits to all spouses of both homosexual and heterosexual workers. To legally avoid providing benefits to people in gay marriages, they stopped providing benefits to everyone.

The Catholic Church attempted to use its influence to prevent charities around the United States from supporting rights for gay citizens. When the Catholic Church heard that the YMCA was patterning with an organization that supports LGBT rights, the Catholic Church told the YMCA to cut its ties with the group or lose $60,000 of its funding. The YMCA didn’t back down, so the Catholic Church yanked its funding from the YMCA, along with eight other charitable groups. When all was said and done, the Catholic Church yanked over $300,000 in funding for charities solely because they began to support equal rights for the LGBT community.

2 Forced Castration Of Abused Boys

Castrato was a classical style of singing; male singers would sing in a higher range, which can usually only be sung by women. In order to produce this high castrato voice in males, the singer needs to be literally castrated before he begins puberty, preventing his body from reaching sexual maturity and his voice from dropping.

You may be wondering, why not just get women to sing the high notes? Well, the Catholic Church never thought it would be an option to allow women to sing in their church choirs, citing a Bible verse: “let women keep silent in church.” In 2001, it was revealed that the Catholic Church had encouraged choir boys to be castrated in order to alter their singing range. Beginning in the 16th century, the Catholic Church castrated its prepubescent choir boys to deliberately prevent them from reaching sexual maturity.

Some of the castrato singers, like Alessandro Moreschi, were famous among Europe’s opera-goers of the time. Moreschi and those like him were prized for their ability to utilize the vocal strength of the male body with the high register of the female voice. However, the majority of the castrated boys were rendered unable to sing or live normal lives. They were therefore discarded by the Church, thought to be “useless even as circus freaks.”

In 1902, the Catholic Church issued a decree which banned the practice within the Sistine Chapel, but the Vatican continued to tolerate the practice. The last castrato singer thought to be affected by the castration practice retired in 1959.

But the Catholic Church’s use for castration sometimes had an even darker intention. In 2012, it was revealed that the Catholic Church in the Netherlands had been forcibly castrating its choir boys who threatened to tell the police that they had been sexuality abused by its priests. Dutch investigative journalist Joep Dohmmen discovered the story of a young boy in a Catholic boarding school who was sexually abused by a Dutch monk and reported the abuse to the Dutch police in 1956. After the Dutch Catholic Church found out that the boy reported the abuse to the authorities, they put him into a church-run psychiatric ward, declared him to be homosexual, and forcibly castrated him.

There have been at least 10 other similar cases among the boy’s classmates, who were also sexually abused by priests and then forcibly castrated by the Catholic Church when they tried to report it.

1 The Rwandan Genocide

rwandan genocide

The Rwandan genocide—the slaughter of the Tutsi minority and some Hutus by the Hutu majority—claimed an estimated 800,000 lives in only four months in 1994. As much as 20 percent of Rwanda’s population was senselessly killed, and about 70 percent of the Tutsi minority. After the bloodshed ended, the country—if not the world— frantically looked for the murderous perpetrators to bring them to justice. Many of the killers behind the genocide suddenly vanished, and the Catholic Church may be responsible for their escape.

At the time of the genocide, the Catholic Church was called “the most powerful social institution in Rwanda.” Around two-thirds of the population of Rwanda is Catholic. Human rights groups and survivors’ groups claim the Catholic Church was complicit in allowing the genocide to occur, while some Catholic clergymen participated in the massacre themselves. In addition, the Catholic Church and its clergy have helped some of the perpetrators of the genocide flee Rwanda to escape persecution or shielded them from extradition.

As other priests did with the Nazi ratlines after World War II, an organized network of Catholic priests helped and protected the genocidal priests. The network smuggled the criminals out of Rwanda to Europe, where they could be sheltered from prosecution and even continue preaching in Catholic churches. Many fled to Italy because of the Catholic Church’s strong presence in the country and ability to fight extradition.

One such priest was Father Athanase Seromba. During the Rwandan genocide, Father Seromba told around 2,000 Tutsis that they could take refuge from the violence inside the church he operated. On April 6, 1994, when 2,000 of the Tutsis gathered inside, Seromba ordered the Church to be bulldozed with the Tutsis inside. After the Church was flattened, Father Seromba and his henchmen shot the remaining survivors.

After the genocide was stopped, Father Seromba fled Rwanda with the aid of a network of sympathetic clergymen. He continued to practice as a priest for the Catholic Church under a false name in a church near Florence, Italy. He went unnoticed until 2002, when he was uncovered by investigators working with the International Tribunal for Rwanda. The Chief Prosecutor for the tribunal claimed the Vatican had fought Father Seromba’s extradition to face his trial. The Vatican told the prosecutor that Father Seromba was “doing good works in Italy.”

Human rights advocates around the world have long called for the Catholic Church to apologize for its role in the Rwandan genocide and its aftermath. Thus far, the Catholic Church has not issued any such statement.

Monday, March 2, 2015

God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican

via Amazon:

A deeply reported, fast-paced exposé of the money and the cardinals-turned-financiers at the heart of the Vatican—the world’s biggest, most powerful religious institution—from an acclaimed journalist with “exhaustive research techniques” (The New York Times).

An Amazon reviewer writes: This is as much a history of the Vatican as it is its money trail from the shadows of the renaissance all the way up the day it was published... scores of books have been commissioned by the Vatican to conceal its union with the Nazi Party in pre-war Germany. Read the newspapers of the time and you get an entirely different picture. `God's Bankers' gives you that picture.

The narrative is skillfully knotted with loads of scenes of the times, from little Jewish boys kidnapped by popes, into the shadows of the Vatican alliance with the Third Reich, to Jews loaded onto boxcars under clergy noses, to the politics of conclaves that elect popes, to a pope sitting up dead in bed reading papers held in his hands, to a Mafia type swinging under a bridge in the wake of the `Great Vatican Bank Scandal'.
It cleverly weaves the role of money into most of what it has to say and it sheds new light on those of us who think we know it all. For example, most of us know the German Concordant allied the Vatican with Nazi Germany. But, how many of us know, the Third Reich enacted automatic payroll deductions of German Catholics (8-10%); money which flowed to the Vatican treasury?

Most of us know the Sindona/Vatican Bank manipulation of Long Island's Franklin National Bank resulted in the biggest American bank failure of its time. Most of us know, it was made possible through the intervention of Richard Nixon. But, how many of us know, Sindona contributed $5.2 million ($20 million today's dollars) to Nixon's 1972 campaign?...the framework for manipulation remains. The Vatican Bank continues to operate as a central bank on the edge of Vatican City within Italy. Anyone can walk into the bank and have money transferred anywhere in the world without going through the Bank of Italy. Too, it continues to operate under a single man--the Pope. Change the ethnics of that man? God knows what will happen?

I developed an interest in the Vatican Bank via The Vatican Murders: The Life and Death of John Paul I. Written by a former acquaintance of the 33-day Pope - Lucien Gregoire - it does a compelling job of proving `The conspiracy that plotted the Great Vatican Bank Scandal (1979-81) was the same conspiracy that plotted the Murder of the youngest pope to die in four hundred years and eight left wing cardinals.'

From a master chronicler of legal and financial misconduct, a magnificent investigation nine years in the making, this book traces the political intrigue and inner workings of the Catholic Church. Decidedly not about faith, belief in God, or religious doctrine, this book is about the church’s accumulation of wealth and its byzantine entanglements with financial markets across the world. Told through 200 years of prelates, bishops, cardinals, and the Popes who oversee it all, Gerald Posner uncovers an eyebrow-raising account of money and power in perhaps the most influential organization in the history of the world.

God’s Bankers has it all: a rare exposé and an astounding saga marked by poisoned business titans, murdered prosecutors, mysterious deaths of private investigators, and questionable suicides; a carnival of characters from Popes and cardinals, financiers and mobsters, kings and prime ministers; and a set of moral and political circumstances that clarify not only the church’s aims and ambitions, but reflect the larger dilemmas of the world’s more recent history. And Posner even looks to the future to surmise if Pope Francis can succeed where all his predecessors failed: to overcome the resistance to change in the Vatican’s Machiavellian inner court and to rein in the excesses of its seemingly uncontrollable financial quagmire. Part thriller, part financial tell-all, this book shows with extraordinary precision how the Vatican has evolved from a foundation of faith to a corporation of extreme wealth and power.